Monday 6 August 2012

Hosting – How to get it out there for pennies.

By Ahsan Anderson, ( Nuffield Bursary Student. All views are Ahsan Anderson not necessarily the views of the blog editor.

It’s easy to be lured in by a website offering you unbeatable deals on their web packages with ‘Cheap Hosting’, a myth in my eyes.

What is hosting? Before you commit to going with said website, you should consider what is actually meant by hosting and understand that maybe, it could turn out to be A LOT cheaper than you think.

Consider what your site is; A blog, multimedia, press, social, a band page. Whatever the site is, in conjunction to an appropriate web builder (such as Weebly) you could get away with not having to pay a penny!

How you ask? Simple!

1)   DIY Hosting can keep everything in the house/office. Instead of forking out ‘£x’ per month, why not look at spending the same/equivalent on buying a mini server? Or if you have an old laptop or Desktop that’s gathering dust you can make use of it and turn it into a home grown server. What benefits does this give you?
a)   It’s a one off payment, in some cases of having an old machine it’s free.
b)   It couldn’t be easier to set up your own server, and there are thousands of free guides on the internet
c)    Instead of relying on the hosts firewall and antivirus software to combat vulnerabilities, you can do it yourself so you have your own piece of mind when setting up the website.
d)   Nowadays, a lot of hosts have a cap on the data you can upload, so if you’re a media based site, this couldn’t be anymore inconvenient. If you run out of space at home, it’s a case of whacking a new hard drive into your server and away you go!
e)   Worried about corruption? Don’t! You can very easily create a slave drive that you can simply create an entire backup onto, or if you’re a time machine user on OSX, you can create daily backups of all your precious files and data without needing to worry about the implications of loosing your files.
2)   Free Hosting will allow you to be able to host your site for free, as the name suggests. Although this does give you a free solution to the issue of the hosting, some of these free sites have you accept these little niggles that can impact your website, maybe not instantly, but after some time, and more often than not they have 1 clause or another which can be a pain to manage, advertising for example to generate their own revenue.
3)   Jumping frogs I like to call it is the most painful method of doing it, but it means that you can save the pennies. This method is really designed for people who have no care for the domain name, for example, designers who are interested in showing a client what a website can look like before they give it too them and sign it over. You will have to sign up to a plethora of hosting sites, paid ones perhaps which offer trials, and at the end of each trial, move the site to another location. This is a pain but if you’re concerned about costs, it may just be worth it.
4)   Jumping frogs in a Box is an alternate method of the above. Not many people are aware, and neither was I until the explanation from Dr Turner at the UON, that you can place the files from your website inside your public drop box folder. Again, this is perfect for displaying the website before it get’s published, or perhaps, you may decide this is perfect for you, since new things like tiny url can change the url of something completely and you can hide the fact it’s actually in a dropbox folder.

Once again, it’s not about having wads of cash to create and keep a decent website, it’s about being able to hold onto what you have and finding a few ways around the corporate cash cow that society takes us for.


  1. Glad to read your post...Thanks for sharing such a nice information, its beneficial for me.
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  2. Pretty interesting idea about DIY hosting. But using own machine, wouldn't such home_made_server eat current for the price of a professional but cheap webhosting on a monthly basis ?